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Old 05-08-2022, 03:38 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,026 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi All,

We currently reside in San Antonio TX and have for the past for 4 years. we initially moved there from Chicago and loved both the city and the state of TX, however, over the past couple of years prices have skyrocketed (as they did in FL as well), while we can afford to buy a home here in TX - property taxes are outrageous for the most part i.e. 300k home can have 9-12k in annual property taxes per year. So we are looking to move somewhere with more sensible property taxes and no state income tax.

A bit about us: we are a couple in our early 30s and we don't really care about being in the cities themselves or being right next to all the hot night-life spots. What we are trying to find is somewhere that is relatively safe and isn't too far from all the fun things i.e. restaurants, beaches, and et-c within 1 to 1.5 hours.

We want to rent for the first year so that we can further explore the state and figure out the best spot for us to call home; so in this sense I am asking for some guidance if y'all could suggest some cities/towns that could fit this bill - we currently do not really have a preference where we want to be in FL - just somewhere safe and quiet; that isn't too far of a drive to the beaches (under 1.5hrs) and may be even has a cute little downtown with some stuff to do.


In terms of what we are looking for is a 2b/1b town-home or a bungalow, hopefully, under 2k a month but we can stretch that to 2.5k if needed. Once we decide on the area(s) we like we would likely be looking to buy a house at around 500k-600k mark.

Employment does not matter. We both have been remote since 2017 - I work in the IT industry and also run my own business on the side; my wife works in Staffing/Recruiting industry so it isn't a problem for us to find a remote job if things go south, especially for me w/ almost 10 years of IT experience.

I would appreciate if y'all could provide some names of cities/towns and I can look from there - if you have a favorite realtor - please free to share, we'd appreciate that.

Thanks,
--Mike
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Old 05-08-2022, 04:22 PM
Status: "Happy New Year 2023!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Florida
273 posts, read 281,094 times
Reputation: 392
As a vacation destination, house and condo rentals most anywhere along the coasts within an hour of the beach can be very expensive. Some destinations are very crowded in winter with snowbirds and have rather older populations. Other areas are the night club hotspots that draw a lot of spring breakers. There is a lot of coast line and too many towns to mention. You will get suggestions of course.


Personally I think the town of Dunedin on the west coast is nice. It's small and artsy and not far from all that Tampa offers. The beach near there is called Honeymoon Island. Tampa has zoos and museums and big events and concert venues, etc.


The interior of FL, once you get away from the coast in many places is cattle farms. There really is not much there, and it doesn't sound like you want Orlando, which is a very big city. There are suburbs around Orlando though and Winter Garden is pretty. Good luck with your search!
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Old 05-08-2022, 04:24 PM
 
2,175 posts, read 1,397,063 times
Reputation: 2545
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikevas View Post
Hi All,

We currently reside in San Antonio TX and have for the past for 4 years. we initially moved there from Chicago and loved both the city and the state of TX, however, over the past couple of years prices have skyrocketed (as they did in FL as well), while we can afford to buy a home here in TX - property taxes are outrageous for the most part i.e. 300k home can have 9-12k in annual property taxes per year. So we are looking to move somewhere with more sensible property taxes and no state income tax.

A bit about us: we are a couple in our early 30s and we don't really care about being in the cities themselves or being right next to all the hot night-life spots. What we are trying to find is somewhere that is relatively safe and isn't too far from all the fun things i.e. restaurants, beaches, and et-c within 1 to 1.5 hours.

We want to rent for the first year so that we can further explore the state and figure out the best spot for us to call home; so in this sense I am asking for some guidance if y'all could suggest some cities/towns that could fit this bill - we currently do not really have a preference where we want to be in FL - just somewhere safe and quiet; that isn't too far of a drive to the beaches (under 1.5hrs) and may be even has a cute little downtown with some stuff to do.


In terms of what we are looking for is a 2b/1b town-home or a bungalow, hopefully, under 2k a month but we can stretch that to 2.5k if needed. Once we decide on the area(s) we like we would likely be looking to buy a house at around 500k-600k mark.

Employment does not matter. We both have been remote since 2017 - I work in the IT industry and also run my own business on the side; my wife works in Staffing/Recruiting industry so it isn't a problem for us to find a remote job if things go south, especially for me w/ almost 10 years of IT experience.

I would appreciate if y'all could provide some names of cities/towns and I can look from there - if you have a favorite realtor - please free to share, we'd appreciate that.

Thanks,
--Mike
I would look at a rental near Orlando. This puts you in a nice drive to either coast and easy access to various cities to see what they are like. Of course your budget will have an impact on where will be best for you. If working from home is OK, then you have lots of options, if a certain type of job is needed, then look where the best locations for such are.
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Old 05-08-2022, 04:51 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,026 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBToast View Post
As a vacation destination, house and condo rentals most anywhere along the coasts within an hour of the beach can be very expensive. Some destinations are very crowded in winter with snowbirds and have rather older populations. Other areas are the night club hotspots that draw a lot of spring breakers. There is a lot of coast line and too many towns to mention. You will get suggestions of course.


Personally I think the town of Dunedin on the west coast is nice. It's small and artsy and not far from all that Tampa offers. The beach near there is called Honeymoon Island. Tampa has zoos and museums and big events and concert venues, etc.


The interior of FL, once you get away from the coast in many places is cattle farms. There really is not much there, and it doesn't sound like you want Orlando, which is a very big city. There are suburbs around Orlando though and Winter Garden is pretty. Good luck with your search!

Look's like a cute town - reminds me of Tarpon Springs excellent Greek food there. (I have been to Tampa a few times for conferences but for no more than 1-2 days, and never ventured far from hotel).

With this being said - once we start looking for houses; we will likely be looking for at least 1+ acres; so I think we will be pushed out more east or north in Tampa Bay area if we do look in this area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer46 View Post
I would look at a rental near Orlando. This puts you in a nice drive to either coast and easy access to various cities to see what they are like. Of course your budget will have an impact on where will be best for you. If working from home is OK, then you have lots of options, if a certain type of job is needed, then look where the best locations for such are.
I will definitely look into this - the area itself outside of Orlando does not seem like it would be hard to find a house on an acre or so.

Edit - Are there any areas around Orlando that we absolutely should not look into?


We are also avid sport shooters; how is the shooting range scene down here? Here in TX I have about 20 ranges within an hour of me.

Edit - I am also into surf fishing so driving distance to coasts is great. I currently drive about 3 hours each way to Port Aransas once a month to do this.
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Old 05-08-2022, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
2,570 posts, read 2,292,066 times
Reputation: 4721
How do you feel about a college town?

Gainesville is 90 minutes from Jacksonville and St. Augustine so you can enjoy surf fishing.

I live in a planned community in the SW part of town and there are 4 shooting ranges 30 minutes from me and there are 6 more that are an hour away.

I did a quick search of townhomes for rent and your budget would be no problem for a 2/2. My development has townhomes for rent by owner in the $1500 range. It is safe and quiet, a mixture of families, singles, retirees. Anything near the university (east side of town) is not as quiet and you will see a spike in mostly property related-crime. The western part, where I live, has a totally different atmosphere.

You can use Gainesville as a base to find a home on an acre or more. In addition to Gainesville, there are several small towns nearby: Newberry, Alachua, High Springs, Archer, Micanopy, Trenton and Bronson for starters. Right now, your budget to buy is no problem.
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Old 05-08-2022, 05:32 PM
 
Location: The Bubble, Florida
2,324 posts, read 1,311,708 times
Reputation: 6828
As a minor aside, townhomes and bungalows aren't as common in Florida. They exist, and you'll certainly find some, but they're not nearly as common as single-story units. You might also want to expand your "consider" list to include single-story homes for rent.
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Old 05-08-2022, 05:45 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,026 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghaati View Post
As a minor aside, townhomes and bungalows aren't as common in Florida. They exist, and you'll certainly find some, but they're not nearly as common as single-story units. You might also want to expand your "consider" list to include single-story homes for rent.

Noted, I was trying to refer to smaller sized SFH as a bungalow/cottage for some reason.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizrap View Post
How do you feel about a college town?

Gainesville is 90 minutes from Jacksonville and St. Augustine so you can enjoy surf fishing.

I live in a planned community in the SW part of town and there are 4 shooting ranges 30 minutes from me and there are 6 more that are an hour away.

I did a quick search of townhomes for rent and your budget would be no problem for a 2/2. My development has townhomes for rent by owner in the $1500 range. It is safe and quiet, a mixture of families, singles, retirees. Anything near the university (east side of town) is not as quiet and you will see a spike in mostly property related-crime. The western part, where I live, has a totally different atmosphere.

You can use Gainesville as a base to find a home on an acre or more. In addition to Gainesville, there are several small towns nearby: Newberry, Alachua, High Springs, Archer, Micanopy, Trenton and Bronson for starters. Right now, your budget to buy is no problem.

Good idea - I will look into this. So you would say that the western part of the town is more sleepy, correct? Anywhere in Gainesville I should absolutely avoid looking?
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Old 05-08-2022, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
2,570 posts, read 2,292,066 times
Reputation: 4721
Oh yes, the western half is definitely more low key than the eastern half, where more students live.

Some people feel the area west of I-75 is best; others use 441 as the line of desirability.

This is a link to an interactive map so you can click and get a description of the various neighborhoods.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...4GEyBaSDByWZIe
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Old 05-08-2022, 06:38 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,026 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizrap View Post
Oh yes, the western half is definitely more low key than the eastern half, where more students live.

Some people feel the area west of I-75 is best; others use 441 as the line of desirability.

This is a link to an interactive map so you can click and get a description of the various neighborhoods.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...4GEyBaSDByWZIe

Awesome, thanks! This is the kind of information I was looking for.
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Old 05-08-2022, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Alabama
11,117 posts, read 5,838,843 times
Reputation: 6059
I've always really liked Fernandina Beach. It's got a great historic downtown and is close to Jacksonville and the many great coastal Georgia towns. St. Augustine is an easy day trip too.
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